As the HubPatron of the Arts contest approaches, we want to introduce you to the special Hubbers who will be serving as judges on the poetry, creative writing, and photo gallery panels.

Alastar Packer is one of the contest’s five creative writing judges.  Check out our exchange as we discuss what attracts him to creative writing, the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and what Hubbers should do to improve their chances of winning the HubPatron of the Arts contest.

HubPages: You say in your bio that you mostly write non-fiction, but enjoy reading (and occasionally) writing fiction. What is it about fiction that attracts you?

Alaster Packer: The unlimited subject matter. You can go places with fiction you can’t always go in non-fiction. The writer can use creative license to take the story to heights they may be limited by with non-fiction. One may also incorporate reality and real scenarios into the stories.

Given that so many biographies and reality-based shows are actually quite fictional, and that so many fictional books, shows, and movies are based on real events, what would you say is the primary difference between nonfiction and fiction?

The perception of the reader, led by the writer, and how they present the work.

What drives you to write?

A love and knowledge of certain subjects that brings a feeling of usefulness and satisfaction when shared with others and their responses back to the subject/work.

As a judge on the fiction panel of the HubPatron of the Arts contest, what will you be looking for in entries?

As a judge on fiction quality will be focused on and the basics of writing must be in place. The piece should be free of typos, the rules of grammar followed with sentence structure. Anything in the category called art must be of the highest caliber. That is not to limit the writer from using vernacular if the setting calls for it though. That adds to the reality of a good tale.

What advice would you give to aspiring fiction writers on HubPages?

Aspiring writers should write on subjects that have not already been saturated. Even if its a romance story for example, put in something different.

[Thanks, Alastar Packer!]

For more information on the HubPatron of the Arts contest, visit the official contest page.

Posted by:HubPages Admin

7 replies on “An Interview with Alastar Packer

  1. Great interview. Alastar Packer is someone who can write non-fiction in a manner that reads like fiction and I enjoyed his answers about what the difference between the two is.
    It’s also helpful to know what judges will be looking for in the upcoming Patron of the Arts fiction category.

  2. I have not tried writing fictional pieces but might give it a try. As a child I shared a room with 2 sisters and we would often make up stories as we went to sleep. Somehow we lose a lot of that spontaneity as we grow older and we leave fantasy behind and confront reality. It might be fun to revert to childhood fantasy for awhile.

  3. Alastar Packer is a gifted writer, he takes a subject matter and boldly ignites it into a wonderful piece of art. He keeps the interest of the reader and we hang on every word. Great interview.

  4. How nice to learn more about one of the judges. Alastar is an excellent judge writer of diverse genres and will make an excellent judge in the upcoming contest. This is a well presented interview. Thanks so much for this one. It helps me know what the judges will be looking for in the contest.

  5. Alastar is Michener-esque in his nonfiction pieces on HP. The reader learns about history while being entertained at the same time!

  6. Congratulations, Wayne, on being chosen one of the judges for the contest. I have enjoyed your comments in the forums, and am sure you are a welcome addition to the team.

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